For nearly two decades, Larry Bleich has been donating blood. For him, it’s an easy way to help his community, and being of service to one’s community is important to Larry. He currently serves as a Community Volunteer Lead and Elected Officials Liaison in the South Puget Sound and Olympics Chapter of the Red Cross Northwest Region, but those titles hardly cover the extent of contributions Larry makes to the Red Cross.
“He’s been a contributor since day one,” said South Puget Sound and Olympics Chapter Executive Director Dan Wirth. “Offering insights into the Board, supporting efforts for Red Cross proclamations throughout the chapter, offering advice for our fundraising team on planned giving, board development, big asks, and special events.”
Prior to joining the Red Cross, Larry volunteered with the Gig Harbor police department. He says his experience there showcased the critical need for healthy blood donors to give regularly.
“I’d be out with the fire department and police department and see people who were hurt traumatically and in need of blood transfusions,” Larry said. That remains an inspiration, and part of the reason he continues to give blood whenever he can.
“It’s so simple to do and it’s rewarding,” Larry said. “Most people, when they think about giving donations, they think about giving money or food or their time, but you rarely think about giving blood, and that’s probably one of the most important things you can do as a human being.”
His passion for the cause inspired him to reach out to his connections within the City of Gig Harbor and organize his own Red Cross blood drive.
“I live in Gig Harbor and every time I went to give a donation I had to go to Tacoma across the bridge. Not that that’s so inconvenient, but there’s tons of people that live up on this side and up the peninsula and I just thought, ‘Oh gosh we just need some blood drives over
With his connections at the police department, Larry decided to start there. “I went over to the city government, and they were delighted to hear all about it. They stepped up right away and we’ve set up one for every quarter.”
The first blood drive is set for June of this year, thanks to Larry and his passion for giving back.
“He is thoughtful, caring, compassionate and I believe our team is just getting to know him and how much of an impact he can make,” said Dan Wirth. “We’re lucky to have him on the team.”
We need you to help us keep the blood supply
healthy! Sign up to give blood by going to redcrossblood.org and signing up for
a drive near you.